Council chiefs to discuss delivery plan for Tour de France Grand Départ

Senior councillors in Leeds will today discuss the latest plans for the delivery of the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France which begins in the city.

The proposal which will be discussed by the executive board at Civic Hall from 1:30pm is to create a new company TDF2014 Ltd which will deliver the Grand Depart as the world’s largest annual sporting event comes to Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK for three stages from July 5-7 next year.

The new company’s board, as outlined in the Welcome to Yorkshire Grand Départ business plan, will include representation from key Yorkshire and Cambridge local authorities as well as British Cycling, Transport for London and UK Sport.

The board will be headed by Sir Rodney Walker, the former chair of UK Sport. There will be two deputy chairs: the Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield representing the local authorities; and Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who will have clear responsibility for the relationship with the race rights holders Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), and will also chair the Grand Départ and Legacy Board.

The costs of hosting the three days of the Grand Départ up to but not including the London finish of stage three have been projected at just under £21m. Local authorities will combine to provide £11m, unlocking government funding of £10m subject to final confirmation.

As Leeds is the host city, and will be the focal point of attention in the days leading up to the Grand Départ, the city council has agreed to provide £3.6m for its element of the costs. The return on this investment is expected to be considerable, as aside from the city being seen by a global television audience in the billions, the financial benefits of the Grand Départ are expected to exceed the £88m generated in London and Kent the last time the Tour de France came to the UK in 2007.

The Leeds budget includes £400,000 for highways improvements specific to the route the race will take through the city. This is separate to the city’s general highways maintenance budget.

It also includes a significant contribution to tourism work linked to the Tour and a long-term cycling legacy for the region. These areas along with the 100-day cultural festival leading up to the Grand Départ will be overseen by a parallel Grand Départ and Legacy board chaired by the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, with sub-boards chaired by the Earl of Harewood for the cultural festival and City of York Council on cycling legacy.

Millions of spectators are expected to line the route to see the Tour in the UK, with stage one starting in Leeds and ending in Harrogate, stage two from York to Sheffield and stage three from Cambridge to London. The full route details are expected to be announced in October.

In Leeds discussions are already underway as to how local communities can get involved, with spectator ‘hubs’ for people to come together and watch the race as well as enjoying a day of family-focused activities being proposed for Harewood House, Otley and Scott Hall playing fields.

Sir Rodney Walker, who will chair the new company TDF2014 Ltd, said:

“I’m honoured to have been asked to lead the board, and confident that I will be able to bring together the very best skills in Yorkshire and expertise from across the UK to deliver an excellent event of which we can all be proud.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“We will work closely with UK Sport on the creation of the new company and also with Welcome to Yorkshire who have built such a strong relationship with the Tour organisers ASO. Local authorities which have committed financial and other resources will work in partnership to make the race happen.

“It makes sense to bring together everyone who can help us deliver such a major global event and tap into their invaluable knowledge and experience. We look forward to working with all parties to ensure a brilliant and memorable event as well as a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.”

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who led the successful Yorkshire Tour de France bid, said:

“Sir Rodney is an ideal person to lead the delivery body, with his extensive experience in business and the world of sport, and his strong relationships across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. I am looking forward to working closely with him to deliver the very Grandest of Grand Départs.”

For the latest news and information on the Grand Départ visit http://letour.yorkshire.com/


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk